Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(Please tolerate typos ... I'm multitasking like a fiend today.)
Remember when life was so much simpler?? Stymie was cool.
Thursday, January 28, 2016: First of all, I have to note the big boom we felt a little after 1 – and carrying on for over an hour. It took a while but social media soon lit up that there was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on over a wide area. I talked with the Weather Service, which was also being contacted. The odd word is from the local USGS which said there are/were no recent earthquakes in South Jersey.
I’m wondering about munitions detonations. I checked with bases … to no avail. I wonder about detonations because the rumbles seemed to be spaced at about the same intervals. With south winds, it might be activity far to our south.
As you know, I hate drama-queenism. However, I do worry a bit about the real possibility of something called liquefaction. By technical definition: “Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading. Liquefaction and related phenomena have been responsible for tremendous amounts of damage in historical earthquakes around the world
I’m not going large on the wholesale destruction aspect except to say even small tremors can heavily impact loose sand, especially around inlets -- as we might have seen with the instantaneous forming of a giant sinkhole near the Holgate Rip a few years back. It came shortly after that far-felt minor earthquake. A Stockton prof suggested the sinkhole/tremor connection. I’ll be keeping a wary eye up ahead while motoring Holgate.
I have been getting reports of sonic booms over the ocean. Why now? And why that loud? New aircraft? New seismic testing ... gone bad? (Not serious.) Sure hope whales and dolphins don't start coming ashore. By the by, sonic booms would explain the lack of seismic signatures on the charts. Munitions detonation show.
"What?! Ya want me to grab a seismograph?"
HOLGATE LOOKIN’ GOOD … SOMEHOW: I’m happy as a pig in sand. Hey, I’m talkin’ one of those beach pigs like they have lounging atop the Bahamian sands.
Here’s why: I returned to the Holgate refuge area yesterday and beheld a beach miracle of epic proportions. The sands of time have apparently not run out for buggying Holgate. The beach sands have come back. But not just any back … but back-back.
Through some miracle of sand flow, the front beach is again a beach – and wide enough for two Boeing 797 taxi side-by-side with DC-10 in-between. In fact, it’s way wider than before the storm. At the exact spot point where I stood, post-storm, lamenting the Jonas damage was so severe the drive to the end was ruined for eternity if nor longer, sand had literally flooded in. The beach height had gained what I think had to be five to 10 feet of sand. I kid you not. Below is the first video, followed by the second -- though you had to be there in person to really get a feel for just how much sand recovery was (and still is) in play. I’m thankful for video cameras. Nobody would have believed me about what it looked like as the storm was departing.
I have long said that nor’easters evoke a rapid sand return … after first stealing the beaches away … but I’ve never seen anything like this rebound effect. My only guess is a secret government-baked replenishment taskforce snuck in and pumped in all that sand -- using top-secret Area 51 technology. I even thought I saw some alien tracks in the sand. Hey, I’m delirious with excitement. As soon as the boys at the township clear away the ramp, which is barely damaged, we can once again motor about.
FB Comment: … (Sand) is filling of wetlands and certainly not a natural process. Why was this not an anticipated result of the replenishment progress? Where was this in the Environmental impact study? The beach does adjust itself after storms naturally.
Relen sands could not have bypassed Beach Haven and the Holgate frontbeach. They didn't fare so well. However, future replen sands just might refill the refuge/NJ beaches there. Kathy, the erosion field now filling in the wetlands in the refuge is as natural as it gets. It is the natural westerly migration of a sedge island, when not bulkheaded to the west. It has absolutely nothing to do with the replenishment, which could, in fact, stop the natural migration of Holgate. Feel free to protest that possibility.
If I had to guess at the rapid self-repair of the Holgate refuge area beaches it is the sand pulled from the erosion zone, as it is redistributed, far beyond what we usually see on a no-longer-migrating majority of LBI.
The far south tip of Holgate is accruing at a rate I’ll wager is a kin to the long-ago formation of Tucker’s Island – the site of which, based on longitude and latitude, is now almost half a mile out at sea, further proving the migration principal.
Importantly, the largest wetlands and saltmarsh meadows possibly ever seen in Holgate have formed, in just the past decade, on the bayside area of Holgate’s far end. Those “meadows” are forming at a far faster rate than the small wetlands zones being lost to sand overwash west of the erosion field. I’ll re-note that building up the beaches of Holgate will stop – not enhance – the movement of that erosion field.
Humanity always seems to be gettin' in the way ...
Enough Holgate politicking.
LBI as a whole is bouncing back, beach-wise. It is going to be very hard for NJ coastal towns to convince the Army Corps that they need to rebuild the beaches … overall. Jersey mayors might be able to beg some quick fix-ups when the Great Lakes equipment comes back for the Beach Haven/Holgate leg of the replen.
Today, there is a small groundswell that is placing even more returning sand on the beaches. It’s a berm-reformation process.
A primary berm crest (sand highpoint) forms near the ocean. It acts as a blocking structure, which causes the ocean to deposit sand in front of it. Soon, a new berm forms toward the water. The new berm becomes the primary berm and the former primary berm becomes the secondary berm. You can picture how this accruing method can widen a beach. Of course, storms come along and kick the beach back to Berm Building 101.
The repetitive building/eroding beach process is all cut and dry until you look at the big geological picture for barrier islands, like LBI. It quickly gets quite complex.
Here's a look at just one version of barrier island morphology .. Oddly, they can vary greatly.
BARRIER ISLAND BUILDING IN A NUTSHELL … MAKE THAT A SEASHELL: In the long run, the beaches berms, and accompanying beach profiles, are conquered by storm waves. The eroding action forces power the barrier island sands westward. A microcosm can be seen in the current erosional goings-on in Holgate. Eventually, the once-barrier island is literally pushed into the bay, losing its contiguous shape and breaking into bayside sedge islands.
So, no more barrier island, right? Remember, it gets complex.
During this barrier island migration process, bigger-still geological influences insidiously come into play. Up step huge hitters, like Ice Ages and a Green Ages -- or Icehouse Earth vs. Greenhouse Earth.
I won’t get into those now, except to forebodingly note we’re on the brink of tipping the planet toward a green extreme. Here’s a quote to toy with: “Whenever earth transitions from either greenhouse or icehouse to the other, mass extinctions occur.” Enough said, right?
Below: Some go extinct faster than others.
Ignoring that 800-pound climate-change gorilla, we are currently luxuriating in what is known as an interglacial period, when mankind loves life. It can also be viewed as a period when the ocean is in neutral … somewhat. Oh, it storms in and swirls out like nobody’s business … eroding beach sand and redepositing same, westward. But, the ocean remains in neutral when it comes to retreating way out (Ice Age) or overflowing entire continents (Green Age).
Now, let’s get back to the barrier island – and why it is there in the first place.
Simply put, the coastline of land masses cause the ocean – especially a storm-driven ocean – to lose its intensity, via simple blockage.
Near land, a riled and rolling ocean can hold/transport immense amounts of material, mainly sand around here. When the ocean’s currents, the main purveyors of material, are slowed, it losses it’s holding capacity. It drops its load. Eventually, it deposits enough material to form a sandbar. The sandbar slowly enlarges – sometimes over thousands of years – and a barrier island is born, albeit a highly dynamic island.
The same oceanic forces that formed the barrier island are constantly pushing it westward, primarily via storms, causing the selfsame overwashes that got me into this to begin with.
HUMANS TO THE NON-RESCUE: Enter mankind, which likes its barrier islands right where they are – so bugger off, geology!
Through equal portions of human ingenuity and human meddling, we have found a great way to prevent a barrier island from moving westward: bulkhead its western side. Nearly all of bayside LBI is bulkheaded.
Then comes the ocean’s response, as it becomes all confused over why the frickin barrier islands aren’t moving west the way it has always been. What it refuses to give up is its never-ending attacking of the shoreline. It’s its job. Thus the butting of heads, between the ocean and us … particularly on LBI.
For the moment, we win by staying ahead of the ocean’s effort to overwash us – eventually leading to another barrier island in our place.
Each year that we grittily stay ahead of the sea saves both lifestyles and livelihoods.
That brings us back to the more heavy-hitting aspect of us possibly breaking out of the comfort of our interglacial period at an accelerated rate, thanks to our wrecking of the atmosphere. Talk about offering the ocean the upper hand.
I offer this as an effort to get folks fighting for the coast: See more at http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/26/josh-fox-sundance/.
We'd rather fight than flee!!!
Photo time after flood ... wildlife ... lobster, mantis shrimp and fox and otter tracks.